Reds on the brink of historic title

Danny Boyle scores Colnes first goal against Cammell Laird on Saturday				Picture: Louise Atherton
Danny Boyle scores Colnes first goal against Cammell Laird on Saturday Picture: Louise Atherton
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Colne are a win away from the NWC Premier Division title.

The Reds leapfrogged Runcorn Linnets to go top of the league with a convincing win 3-0 over West Didsbury and Chorlton on Tuesday night at the XLCR Stadium.

And victory tomorrow at 1874 Northwich will guarantee Steve Cunningham’s men finish top of the pile, with even a draw meaning Runconr Linnets would have to beat in-form Padiham by six goals.

On Tuesday, a first half goal by Danny Boyle set them on the way, before Ben Wharton made the game safe with two second half strikes.

The Reds made a tentative start to the game, and the visitors looked like they would provide some stiff opposition as they competed well in all areas of the field.

Jay Hart had the ball in the net after 20 minutes from a good flick on by Wharton, but the flag was up for off-side.

At the other end, the visitors came close when Tony Aghayere made a point blank save from Jonathan Poyzer.

But as Colne began to find more attacking ideas, Wharton almost capitalised on a cross into the goalmouth that was hacked clear by Michael Simcock.

And the Reds made the breakthrough after 34 minutes when Chris Anderson’s through ball released Boyle into the area to fire home into the bottom corner of the net.

Colne began the second half on the attack, and Hart’s shot was blocked in the goalmouth after a right wing run.

After 52 minutes, Simon Nangle’s corner was headed home at the near post by Wharton to double the Reds lead and give them breathing space.

As the visitors attempted to stage a comeback, some outstanding clearances by Alex Coleman and Michael Morrison kept them at bay.

And Colne always looked capable of scoring on the counterattack, with Anderson seeing his shot blocked after dazzling build-up play from Hart and Spencer Jordan that left the visitors’ defence flatfooted.

As the game reached the final stages, Colne pressed forward again and Wharton drove home their third goal with an unstoppable shot past the keeper after 87 minutes.

And the Reds could have had further goals in the remaining minutes as Kenny Taylor’s shot brought a superb save from the keeper and Joel Melia shot wide after robbing defenders of the ball.

On Saturday, Colne kept up the pressure at the top of the league with a convincing 3-0 win over Cammell Laird at the XLCR Stadium.

In a lively opening period, Colne looked the better side, and Hart might have opened the scoring after 10 minutes when Boyle’s cross from the right reached him in front of goal, but his mis-kick allowed the keeper to punch clear.

At the other end, Adam Hughes had claims for a penalty waved aside when he went down under challenge.

But Boyle opened the scoring on 27 minutes when he came in at the far post to fire home a cross from the right.

Laird keeper Kevin Atherton then denied Lee Pugh in a one-on-one, and made good saves from Dom Craig and Wharton.

Colne doubled their lead after 56 minutes when Boyle was brought down by Atherton as he turned with the ball inside the area, and Hart converted the spot kick.

And Atherton was beaten again after 85 minutes when Adam Morning chipped the ball over him and followed up to tap home from close range to round off the scoring.

On Tuesday, Colne play Atherton Collieries in the MEN United Cup Final at Fleetwood Town.

DAVE PRIESTLEY